Location, Location, Location. As heli-skiing celebrates 50 years from its inception, the real story that needs to be told is how knowledgeable our founding fathers were when they pioneered a whole new experience in the Purcell and Selkirk mountains. They could have chosen anywhere in BC to fly their birds. There was no competition, nor limitations to where they could operate, but they chose the mountains around Golden for the terrain, snow quality, and snow consistency that these mountains offered. This has proven to be a wise decision even today.
Fifty years later, Golden found itself in the position of offering “The best skiing in BC”, when many other ski destinations in Western North America were writing it off as poor or non-existent. It was a season that was pinned with warmer than average temperatures and provided the lowest snowfall on record in British Columbia since 1977. Thank goodness for helicopters, exclusive heli-skiing tenure in the Purcells and Selkirks, and a team of guides that know where to find snow.
Great Canadian Heli-Skiing has had its strongest year on record in the number of guests we hosted, as the word was out on us this year. We had to turn down film crews, and last minute guests looking to get their fix. The proportionally greater number of blue sky days allowed us to fly to all corners of our terrain. We spent most of the season in the Alpine, heli-skiing signature bowls and glaciers. During the whole season we were blessed with only 1 full down day. Of course as weather is unpredictable, our typical winter decided to arrive late March and April delivering snow and some delayed starts of the day, but rewarded guests and guides with fresh snow.
Though Great Canadian Heli-skiing is always appreciative of how hard our guides work to lead us safely through the mountains, this year was especially a guides year where experience and skill was required to deliver, and deliver they did! Our guiding team faced some additional challenges this year with health, house fires, and even community losses, that extended far beyond a typical winter. They faced it all professionally and with the strength of the true mountain persons they are. So if you feel like your guide did a great job, do not hesitate to put a shoutout to them on facebook, or by email. We know they would appreciate hearing from you and sharing your passion for the mountains with them.
That said, we always end our season on a high note with “Family Day”. We celebrated the year by heli-skiing with our spouses and kids on 15cm of fresh snow, patiently explaining to the children why we can’t do this every weekend, and silently wondering why all our guests have put their skis away already. But I guess that is the point, mother nature leaves us guessing, feeding our dreams and anticipation for the next time, wanting more. More snow, more fresh turns, more mountain vistas, and most importantly more time with the people that make all of this possible, you our guests. So to each of you that joined us this year, or any year over the past 27 years, thank-you for making us Great, Great Canadian Heli-Skiing. We look forward to leading all of you to your next adventure and making new history for the next 50 years to celebrate.